What is Stone Crab?

THIS FLORIDA SPECIALTY IS AS LUXURIOUS AS IT GETS

Joe’s Stone Crab
Joe’s Stone Crab

If you happen to ever be at a restaurant that has stone crabs on the menu, there are two things that should indicate: one, you’re at a very nice restaurant; and two, you should order them. Stone crabs are expensive, but they’re one of America’s finest delicacies, and are incredibly delicious. But what are stone crabs, exactly? And what makes them so special?

What is Stone Crab?

Stone crab, officially called Florida stone crab, is a crab that’s native to the western North Atlantic but are particularly abundant off of Florida’s coast. Their bodies are relatively small, but their claws are quite large – in fact, claws are the only part of the crab that’s eaten. 

When stone crabs are caught, one or both claws are removed and the crabs are returned to the water, where the claws re-grow. That’s right: stone crab claws re-grow, so the crab doesn’t need to be killed.

George Stone Crab
George Stone Crab
George Stone Crab
George Stone Crab

What Is So Special About Stone Crab?

Stone crabs can only legally be harvested for a relatively brief window of time every year and must be caught sustainably by trained fishermen without killing the crab, leading to a limited supply. They have a mild flavor and a very delicate texture that’s unlike any other crab (or seafood, for that matter), and must be handled and shipped with the utmost care – and eaten soon after being caught – in order to maintain freshness. These are the reasons why stone crab is so special – and so expensive.

What Does Stone Crab Taste Like?

Stone crab claws have a very mild flavor that’s both sweet and savory, and it’s not overly “fishy” tasting. It’s typically served chilled or at room temperature, alongside a mustard-mayo sauce that provides a creamy, tangy counterpoint to the crab’s flavor and texture.

What is Stone Crab Season in Florida?

Florida stone crab season is relatively brief –  from October 15th to May 1st – in order to maintain their population. They’re caught using baited traps, and claws must be 73 mm (2 7/8 inches) or greater in length in order to be removed. Also, if a female crab is discovered to be carrying eggs, it must be returned to the water immediately.

Most Famous Stone Crab

Joe’s Stone Crab

Joe’s Stone Crab

Miami Beach’s Joe’s Stone Crab is far-and-away the most famous stone crab restaurant in America; in fact, the restaurant serves so many stone crab claws that it plays a major role in supporting Florida’s entire stone crab industry! It was founded in 1918 as a small lunch counter by Joe Weiss, who began serving stone crabs to customers three years later. Believe it or not, few people were eating stone crab claws when Joe added them to the menu, but it quickly caught on. Today, Joe’s Stone Crab is one of Miami’s quintessential fine dining restaurants, still family-run.

Read More: Now Shipping Joe’s Stone Crab Nationwide

George Stone Crab

George Stone Crab

George Stone Crab was founded by Roger Duarte in 2008, and today it’s the largest national stone crab home delivery company, also supplying dozens of markets, fish houses, and restaurants. At its heart is a team of more than 80 fishermen who take to the Florida Bay’s high seas daily during the season and bring in between 3,000 to 5,000 pounds of claws daily. They’re quickly cooked, packed, shipped, and delivered within 24-36 hours of being caught.

Santa Barbara Stone Crab Co

Santa Barbara Stone Crab Co.

As the name implies, Santa Barbara Stone Crab Co. specializes in a lesser-known West Coast variety of stone crab, called Pacific Red Stone Crabs. These crabs are harvested year-round, and Santa Barbara Stone Crab is the only commercial fishermen’s outlet that directly sells to the public in the city. These claws are sweet and tender, and delivered to your door within 24 hours of being harvested. 

If you want to try these coveted crab claws for yourself, there’s no need to take a trip to Florida or an expensive steakhouse! Thanks to Goldbelly, super-fresh stone crab claws are being rushed overnight straight to your door, ready to enjoy!